hugh’s news & Views
This year marks the 60th year in which I have endeavored to preach the gospel of Christ. I made my first feeble, fumbling efforts as a fifteen year old, speaking on a fill-in basis in small rural churches in northwest Florida and later in northwest Alabama.
By the time I was a senior in high school I was preaching every Sunday for a rural congregation near Florence, Alabama. In those early days, by the very nature of the case, I was concerned with setting forth only the most elementary truths of God’s word. I had no learning or ability to do otherwise.
But as I grew and matured in the faith and in my knowledge of the Scriptures, I began to realize that there were certain “anchor texts” that stood behind, informed, gave meaning to, and stabilized everything I endeavored (both then and now) to preach texts that I strove (either consciously or subconsciously) to keep in mind as I presented the word of God.
Through the years I have become even more aware of the importance of these “anchor texts.” As a sequel to last week’s essay on “What I Love About Preaching” I would like to set forth some of these anchor texts. I shall do so with a minimum of comment about any of them since their significance should be evident to all.
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:1-2).
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas (Simon Peter, hf), then by the twelve” (I Corinthians 15:3-5). [Note: Preachers should not stop with verse 4, but also emphasize verse 5 (as well as the succeeding verses) and the fact that there were credible witnesses to the resurrection of Christ.]
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17). [Note: The faithful
preacher of Christ recognizes the divine inspiration, authority, and all-sufficiency of the Scriptures. He has no need for the catechisms, creed books, and church manuals of
men, or for the speculative theories and opinions of men; neither do his hearers. Stay with and preach the all-sufficient Book of God!]
“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13). [This text further emphasizes the veracity and power of God’s word and the importance of preaching it, not the wisdom of men.]
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season, out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching” (II Timothy 4:1-2).
“If you instruct the brethren in these things you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed” (I Timothy 4:6). [A future “News & Views” will, D.V., address the question, “What Makes A Good Minister?”]
“Him [Christ, hf] we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28).
“For I have not shunned to declare to you all [the whole] counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
May all who preach be anchored by the above texts!
April 14-18: LibertyChurch of Christ, DeFuniak Springs, Florida
April 9, 2013